Chapter 18: Memories

I opened my eyes to see two pairs of eyes above me. Iris was looking at me, along with that cute blonde girl. I was in a bed, and surrounded by girls. Most teenage guys would be having a fantastic time right now, but I was a little bit more concerned with the fact that I hadn’t seen her for almost four years.
“Well, this is weird,” I said as I sat up. Iris backed away from me as I did so, but the blonde girl seemed very interested in me. She jumped away from me when she noticed that she was staring, and turned away from me. She was blushing.
“I suppose it’s nice to see you,” She turned back around as I spoke, trying to cover up her bright red cheeks.
“Hi, uh, Edward,” She stammered. So she was still nervous. It was a little bit of a surprise that she of all people would be on this thing. Still, it was nice to see a somewhat familiar face. Considering the fact that I hadn’t seen her since she was twelve, she did look different. Still short though.
“Hello Riley. Now, I’d ask what happened but I have a funny feeling that I know,” I said as I pushed myself out of the hospital bed. It was a knockout punch. Simple as that.
“He said he didn’t mean to knock you out,” Riley hurried to say. She must’ve known him for a while then, hurrying to his defence.
“Sure he did,” The curtain at the front of the room pulled back, and her sister and her father stepped into the room. So that’s why she’s here. Walter’s involved.
“Good evening Mr Walsh, I am General Walter Schmidt,” He said. Oh, that was dirty. May walked away from his side, and looked me in the eyes. Like, she looked up at them. Her eyes were still cloudy though, so I suppose she’d just improved whatever it was she used to see. She stuck out her tongue at me, before walking away to strike up a conversation with Iris.
“So it’s going to be like that. Okay General, you’ll have to excuse me for asking, but what the fuck do you think you’re doing?” May seemed a little taken aback by my choice of words.
“How so?” Answering my question with a question. Good. As much as I didn’t want to be angry at the twins for leaving, I was perfectly fine with verbally beating their father to a pulp.
“Oh, nothing really, you just had your men shoot our driver and take Iris and I from the car, and then you brought us to a floating fortress where the only way out is a thirty thousand foot drop,” I crossed my arms, and he smiled.
“I was asked to bring you here,” He said.
“No, that’s actually bullshit. You’ve been unable to be contacted for years, and although the press got some clever little lies, Samantha tells a different story,” I said. He seemed slightly surprised by that.
“How did you know they were lies?” He asked.
“Well, apart from the fact that I helped fucking write half of them, it’s pretty fucking easy to figure you out,” I said, and he grinned.
“You seem a little upset Edward,” He smiled.
“Upset? I’ve just had the worst fucking week of my life. It was getting better, I had ways to take out my stress, my anger. If I was pissed odd I could use it. But now you’ve decided it’s a good time to fucking rip me out of a semi normal, semi recovered lifestyle just to satisfy whatever the fuck it is you’re doing up here, so you know what? Fuck you. I refuse to partake in your shit,” I said. I crossed my arms as I spoke to him, and as I finished he sighed.

And he pulled a fucking gun on me.

“I had hoped I wouldn’t have to threaten you, that our previous relationship would mean something to you, but it appears that I must. You see, May is a very special kind of person called a Superhuman. She can heal any wound a person obtains, so if I must, I can shoot you Edward,” He explained. Although he might not realise it, after my real father’s death, I actually got my hands on the Superhuman thesis. It explained the very thing he was talking about, although it was in his way. It had no explanation for the origins of such a phenomenon, just potential cases.
“Go on then. Shoot me. Like I give a shit,” I told him. He raised an eyebrow at me.
“You’re shirtless. There is absolutely nothing to even slightly lessen the impact if I shoot you, Edward, and at this range it would go right through you,” He told me.
“I. Still. Don’t. Care,” He pulled back the slide on his pistol. He hadn’t even had a round chambered.
“Edward, why are you talking like that?” May asked me. I grinned, even though I knew she couldn’t see it.
“Words can be a very potent weapon if you know how to use them,” I told her, and turned my attention back to Walter.
“So are you going to shoot me, or are you going to act like a sane human being?” I asked him.
“Well, you clearly don’t care, so,” He shifted his aim ever so slightly to the left of me. I didn’t even bother to look at where he was going to shoot. I sprinted at him, and rammed my shoulder into his chest. He dropped his gun next to him as he fell, and I picked it up before he could. I put my foot down on his throat to stop him from getting back up. I ejected the magazine from the pistol, and after checking the ammo, I threw it away. It was loaded with blanks.
“Next time you pull a gun on someone, have the balls to use real bullets,” I said, and lifted my foot away from his throat. He coughed as I pulled my foot away.
“Stop it. Please stop it,” Riley managed through tears. She was crouching in the corner with her hands over her ears. She looked terrified. I walked over to her, and sat down on the ground next to her as she cried. After a little while, I’d figured out how to handle this kind of situation.
“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to get so upset,” I said. I looked around the room, and May and Iris looked like they’d run out. That must’ve happened while I took out Walter. She pulled her hands away from her ears, and tried to wipe away her tears.
“Are you mad at me too?” She asked.
“Why would I be?”
“Because we left you. Because of him,” She pointed at Walter as he sat in place, still bewildered.
“No. Walter has lost my trust and my respect, and it’s going to take him a while to get it back. But as much as I am angry and upset about everything that’s happened since you left, I don’t blame you, and I certainly don’t hate you. At the moment I’m really just wondering why I don’t have a shirt,” I laughed, and her cheeks turned bright pink.
“The-the doctor wanted to give you a full physical, so they, uh,” She struggled.
“Don’t worry about it,” I told her, and I offered her a hand to help her off of the ground. She took it with a smile, but hurried to let go once she was standing.

And then as I started to walk I felt nauseous, and my legs started to feel weak. Something in my body cracked, and I fell to the ground on my weak knees.
“What… The… Fuck?” I struggled as I tried my best to push myself off of the ground, but I only ended up making it easier to slam my face into the ground. Walter groaned, and pushed me over onto my back with his foot.
“Well, shit. Go and find May,” He commanded, and Riley ran out.

*

I walked into the gym to the sounds of muffled laughter. Well, I had. Back when I’d first come aboard the Sandman, just after I’d re-encountered Riley and May and Walter, and my powers came to be, I was cold. I’d rather not go into the details of it, but during our first practice fight, I’d beaten everyone else with virtually no help. The only person who’d even stood a chance against me was Iris, and that was only because I was going easy on my sister. Walter had had to step in to stop me from keeping up my attack on Lake, and took a blow to the chin for it. I really did hate him for a while, and I made sure he knew. Riley and Lake were pretty much his star pupils, and the only ones other than me that actually managed to put up a fight in the early days. Then we got into using our powers, and learning to shoot and all of the shit he needed us to do to train us, and I spent my time being better to make it so, as we got further and further into his six months of training before we first went out, I could simply blow off his training and deadlock my door shut to stop anyone from coming in. It was simple enough to do, and it pissed Walter off for a good while, until he realized how he’d fucked up. For a very long time now, I haven’t exactly responded well to violence, so he switched his methods to offering me information, and that was what I wanted. In the end, I think, I trusted him. But respect him? Not until the very end.